"Do I know what it means
To stand in the queue as a mere 13 year old,
Collecting charity for my younger brother
and widowed and aching mother,
a wound in my stomach which hurts and oozes.
With no one to care for the pain
To live on, not knowing why or the reason or meaning of hope...”
Extract from the Sri Lanka Guardian
(July 30, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian)These are the opening lines of a poem by Sumathy R, who worked as a volunteer for a few days in a Tamil refugee camp in Sri Lanka. She describes the travails of the destitute and the orphans living in army-controlled camps According to reports, about three lakh Tamils displaced from erstwhile LTTE-controlled areas by war are treated like prisoners in these camps in North Sri Lanka. “Hundreds of thousands of Tamils remain locked in camps almost entirely offlimits to journalists, human rights investigators and political leaders,” The New York Times reported on July 12 after meet some refugees in one of the camps.